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Not having a plan may be the biggest estate planning mistake

At this point in your life, you may find yourself going back and forth between deciding whether it is time to create an estate plan or if you even need one at all. This debate is one that many Illinois residents certainly have, and a misunderstanding of the benefits of estate planning may add to the hesitation of creating a plan of your own. If you think that estate plans are only for people with a substantial amount of money, you do not have the right information.

Do you think an estate plan is unnecessary?

Though you may want to avoid thinking about your life eventually coming to an end, it happens to everyone. The manner in which it happens varies from person to person, and for some people it occurs unexpectedly while others may learn that they do not have much time left. Because either of these scenarios could happen to you, you may want to consider how you would like to leave your affairs.

What happens if you forget to add assets to your trust?

Because of the variety of estate planning options available to you, you may want to take your time when it comes to deciding which tools to utilize. Your estate plan will play an important role in the closing of your estate after your passing, and you will undoubtedly want to ensure that you complete your plan in the manner you desire. Of course, certain issues could arise with your plan, and due to this potential, you may want to consider how to best safeguard your plan.

Could a Crummey trust help you avoid gift taxes?

You, like many other Illinois residents, may find taxes stressful and inconvenient. This displeasure may stem from various misunderstandings about taxation as well as the potential for you or family members to owe a considerable amount of money to the government for various reasons. If you hope to gift money or provide for loved ones after your death, you may have an interest in how taxes could come into play.

Important facts regarding powers of attorney and living wills

When you hear the word wills within the context of estate planning or elder law matters, do you automatically think of property, assets and inheritance? If so, you're likely not alone as asset distribution is commonly associated with wills. However, if you're one of many Illinois residents helping an elderly parent execute an estate plan, you'll definitely want to make sure your mother or father knows that there are different types of wills and that it's crucial to understand the differences before putting anything in writing.

3 stipulations you could add to trusts

When creating your estate plan, you may already know that you would like to leave funds behind for the benefit of your children and grandchildren. Of course, if you have a considerable amount of money to distribute, you may not feel comfortable simply stating in a will that each individual shall receive a certain amount of that money. Therefore, you may find yourself exploring trusts as a planning option.

You can act today to plan for a strong retirement tomorrow

Retirement is part of the American dream, and you have worked many years to save and plan for the future. It is impossible to predict what will happen in the months and years ahead, making it crucial to have a strong retirement plan and other legal protections in place that you can adjust as necessary, as life changes and unexpected contingencies happen. 

Are you cloudy on your see-through trust options?

When considering your trust options, you may wonder about the best ways to utilize this type of estate planning tool. Trusts can have a variety of uses and can even act as beneficiaries to certain accounts. However, if you hope to create a trust for this use, you may need to understand the specific type of trust needed or what provisions may apply.

5 estate planning myths you may believe

Though living in a world where you can easily access information on any topic can provide many benefits, it can also make it more difficult to discern reliable facts from incorrect notions. Some websites or articles may seem legitimate and claim to offer helpful information, but without the proper research, you could potentially consume inaccurate knowledge. Even ideas that have been considered factual for years may, in fact, be widespread misconceptions.

Your body, your choice: Making medical decisions for yourself

It is impossible to predict what will happen in the future, but you can give yourself a measure of protection by making sure you have certain documents included as part of your estate plan. You have the right to decide for yourself what kind of medical care you wish to receive in case you are ever incapacitated, but the only way to do that is to have certain documents drafted as part of your estate plan.

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Leonard F. Berg, Attorney at Law